From once dominating the realms of science fiction and technologies for armed forces, wearable technology has swiftly made its move to being in the commonplace consumer market in the past few years. It is estimated that the global wearable technology market could reach USD 5.8 billion by 2018. Adding further impetus to the growth of the wearable technology market is the entry of global technology leaders including Apple, Microsoft and Google into the
Though this technology has been around for several decades, its first several decades in the market failed to produce any substantial success stories on the consumer front. But advances in battery technology, augmented reality, chip evolution and material sciences have made the possibilities for the growth of the wearable technology market quite effortless in the past decade.
The most recent addition in the wearable technology market that has garnered huge global attention is that of Google Glass. But the wearable technology market is much broader and crosses the verticals of health and wellness, entertainment, fashion and medicinal fields.
One more interesting aspect of wearable technology is the impact it can have on the smart phone industry and the form and function of mobiles for general and advanced use. Much of the features of a smart phone can be built-in within a wearable device.
Major Application Segments in the wearable technology market
The global wearable technology market, which is still in its early, experimental stage has major applications in the fields of medicine, military forces, infotainment (the field of information fused with entertainment) and wellness and fitness.
Wearable-technology-based devices are commonly seen in the health and fitness and medical fields in the form of products such as sleep sensors, activity monitors, wearable patches, implantable devices for timely drug delivery and continuous glucose monitoring devices. The infotainment segment within the wearable technology market has flourished with wearable smart devices such as smart watches, smart glasses, etc.
Amongst these, the segments of healthcare and medicine held the highest market shares, worth an estimated 35%, of the wearable technology industry in 2012. The market segment wellness and fitness held the second-largest percentage of shares in the wearable technology market.
The market segment that is estimated to observe robust growth in the coming years is that of infotainment owing to the rising popularity and easy availability
of cheaper models of smart watches and smart glasses in the market. The segment of healthcare and medicine is expected to continue leading this industry owing to the actual need of this technology in these segments and the enormous benefits that can be reaped.
Growth drivers in the wearable technology market
Factors such as rise in applications areas, the compactness, multiple functions, portability of these devices and rapid technological developments in the industry, resulting in even better devices are the major elements that keep elevating the popularity of this industry.
Such devices are mostly popular in the young population that vouches for technically advanced devices and real-time and readily actionable information.
Global industry leaders in the wearable technology market
Though an exciting field like wearable technology cannot remain confined to a specific corner of the globe, there are still some obvious limitations such as cost constraints, lack of marketing channels and lack of awareness that keep it restricted within geographic limits.
Currently, North America leads the wearable technology market, with an estimated market 50% share. High adoption rates in this region are a result of good consumer awareness, excellent marketing and retail channels. However, growth opportunities are ripe in the wearable technology market in the Asia Pacific region, the geographic segment that poses huge growth opportunities for almost every global industry. This region is expected to have nearly 49% shares of the wearable technology market in the coming years.